Best 15 Benefits of working from home
the idea of working from home was firmly in “must be nice” territory for most employees—the stuff of wistful conversations during post-work happy hours. The Pew Research Center found that before the COVID-19 pandemic, only 20% of people whose work could be done remotely were working from home most or all of the time.
Since then, the workplace has undergone a seismic shift. Global lockdowns forced all but essential workers to adopt remote work almost overnight. People scrambled to set up home offices and adjust to back-to-back virtual meetings and online collaboration.
As of February 2022, nearly 60% of U.S. workers with jobs that can be done remotely are working from home all or most of the time, according to Pew. And in a Muse user survey conducted that same month, 80.8% of the 4,681 respondents said they’d like to work from home full or part-time going forward.
What is working from home?
Working from home, often called telecommuting or working remotely, refers to a work environment where an individual completes their job out of the office and in a setting of their choice. It took hold during the COVID-19 pandemic but has been embraced by many as the workplace of the future. Through the development of technology, the option to work from home (WFH) is becoming available in a variety of companies and industries. WFH is proving to be beneficial for both employees and employers.
Best 15 Benefits of working from home
Working from home has surged in popularity given the pandemic and the realization that many jobs can be done from the comfort of employees’ homes. Even before COVID-19, tech companies were shifting their companies to a remote environment to save costs, lessen commutes, and provide a better work-life balance.
If you’re still on the fence about whether this change is for you, below are the 19 big benefits of working from home. We also cover how both employees and their employers can benefit from the remote work model and include actionable tips on how to work remote jobs efficiently.
1. Better Work-Life Balance
Many remote jobs also come with flexible schedules, which means that workers can start and end their day as they choose, as long as their work is complete and leads to strong outcomes. This control over your work schedule can be invaluable when it comes to attending to the needs of your personal life.
Whether it’s dropping kids off at school, running some errands, attending an online fitness class in the morning, or being home for a contractor, these tasks (and more!) are all easier to balance when you work from home.
2. You can start and end whenever you want
Depending on the kind of work you do, you are not bound by the 9-6 life. You can choose to work whenever you want.
This way, you will get to spend more time with family and friends doing the activities that matter most to you.
And if you want to work from 10-6, that’s totally your choice!
Again, depending on the job, you will have complete freedom to work the way you want to.
If you want to take a break right now, you can. If you think now is a good time to go to the supermarket, you can do that, too.
However you feel comfortable working, that’s how you can work.
3. You can ditch the time-consuming commute.
Your daily commute can compound or increase your stress levels as you deal with factors beyond your control, such as rude passengers, vehicle breakdowns, and traffic jams. A longer commute can also reduce job satisfaction and worsen your mental health. For many, a commute can be more stressful than the job itself. And if something goes wrong, that can make you late to work.
Plus, even when things go perfectly, even a relatively short commute of 20 minutes will take 40 minutes out of your day—that’s more than three hours a week. If your commute is longer, it’s easy to see how the lost time can add up. Working from home gives you back that time to use how you want. You could squeeze in more work—but I want better for you. We all need a break, so take that extra time to call a friend, play with your pet, hang with your family, or go out to your favorite spot for dinner.
4. More schedule flexibility
Remote work frees up a lot of time that’s otherwise spent commuting and grabbing lunch. Some meetings can even be removed from your calendar to allow more schedule flexibility.
Pro tip: Implementing a “no-meeting day” one day a week can help remote employees increase productivity with zero interruption.
5. Higher productivity
One study revealed that remote workers were 13% more efficient than their in-office coworkers. Employees themselves have also reported that they are at the same productivity level or higher working from home compared to in-office.
Working from home increases employee productivity because you no longer have the interruption of a time-consuming commute or in-office distractions.
6. You can complete more work tasks and assignments
A pre-pandemic experiment conducted with the employees of a Chinese travel agency showed that a group randomly selected to WFH showed a productivity increase of 13%—which was attributed to a quieter work environment and more minutes worked per shift. And a 2021 survey of remote workers found that 6 in 10 reported they’re more productive working from home than they expected to be because they don’t have the commute and may be getting a better night’s sleep. At home, workers also gain back time lost to in-office distractions and interruptions, such as:
- The noise and activity of an open office plan
- That chatty coworker who has trouble ending conversations
- Those impromptu meetings or coffee breaks that run long
7. Less Commute Stress
The average one-way commuting time in the U.S. is 27.1 minutes—that’s nearly an hour each day spent getting to and from work, and it really adds up. According to the Auto Insurance Center, commuters spend about 100 hours commuting and 41 hours stuck in traffic each year. Some “extreme” commuters face much longer commute times of 90 minutes or more each way.
But wasting time commuting is just one of the downsides of getting to and from work. More than 30 minutes of daily one-way commuting is associated with increased levels of stress and anxiety, and research shows that commuting 10 miles to work each day is associated with health issues like:
- Higher cholesterol
- Elevated blood sugar
- Increased risk of depression
8. Improved focus
Because you can choose or create an environment that works for you, your focus and productivity will improve. Without the distractions of daily office life, you will be able to accomplish more in less time. It also eliminates some of the elements that lead to a hostile or negative work environment. This is because there is usually less gossip and office politics among remote workers.
9. The Greater opportunity for inclusivity
The option of remote work opens many doors, especially for those who live with disabilities. Some of the benefits of remote work for such employees include the ability to be your authentic self in the comfort of your own home and fewer physical barriers when it comes to getting to and around the office. You’ll also be able to get access to jobs you wouldn’t otherwise have access to locally and have more flexibility in scheduling appointments since you no longer have to commute.
10. Increased mobility
Working from home gives you the freedom to move where you like. Since you aren’t tied to a physical office, you may choose to relocate to:
Be closer to loved ones
Live in an area with a lower cost of living
Make a home in your dream location
11. You can be way more comfortable and cozy
“I don’t miss pants. I don’t miss jeans. I certainly don’t miss underwire bras. Those are never coming back into my world. Never. Nope. Uh-uh.” says Bostwick, who is now a sports bra aficionado. Day-to-day comfort is personal, but working from home gives you choices beyond business or business-casual looks—especially on days that are light on virtual meetings.
Many people with disabilities, such as chronic back pain or mental illness, can also benefit from WFH gear and settings personalized to meet their needs. An employee with chronic joint pain, for example, may feel more comfortable in their ergonomic home desk chair. A worker with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), can position their desk near a window to get more sunlight. Someone who moves or fidgets often throughout the day can do so without worrying about distracting others.
12. There are no office politics
There is no office in the world where “office politics” do not exist. Rivalry always happens between co-workers, and if the politics of the office get involved, this becomes a toxic environment.
However, when you are working from home, there is only one person with whom you have to compete on a daily basis; there are no annoying co-workers around. There is no mental pressure, and you can work as freely and as creatively as you like. Instead of fighting to get the best cubicle in the office, your whole office is already the best.
13. Increased job satisfaction
Benefits like flexible scheduling and work-life balance tend to promote higher job satisfaction for individuals working from home. Other factors benefiting from satisfied employees include:
Higher employee morale
Positive company culture
14. Better for the environment
Driving to work, and commuting in general, can have costly effects on the environment. Research firm Global Research Analytics reported that if everyone in the US worked remotely half the time, it could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from car travel by more than 51 metric tons per year.
15. Money Savings
People who work from home half-time can save around $4,000 per year. Gas, car maintenance, transportation, parking fees, a professional wardrobe, lunches bought out, and more can all be reduced or eliminated from your spending entirely. These savings add up and put more money back into your pocket.
And the savings aren’t just for employees, either. As more and more companies allow employees to continue working remotely post-pandemic—like Twitter, Square, Shopify, and Facebook, to name just a few—they’ll also see significant long-term cost savings.
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